Connect with us

Health

Classroom Experiment Shows Just How Important Washing Your Hands Really Is

The results of the experiment were, as the science teacher put it, “DISGUSTING!!!”

Published

on

Washing Your Hands
Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

(TMU) — This flu season one science teacher devised a hands-on way to show her students—and the internet—just how important hand washing is.

Jaralee Annice Metcalf posted photos and a brief description of the experiment on Facebook. The post has since been shared over 65,000 times and is a science lesson we could all use right now.

The CDC is currently reporting that the flu is widespread in 30 U.S. states. In addition to the flu, plenty of unpleasant sicknesses spread this time of the year despite our best efforts. But it’s probably likely that some of us don’t quite understand which of our efforts truly is the best and, thanks to the CDC’s data—it shows.

According to her post, Metcalf understandably is, like many teachers, “sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired.” 

With a loaf of bread, some plastic baggies, hand sanitizer, and good ol’ soap and water Metcalf and her class got to work.

One slice of bread was put into a plastic baggie and sealed, without being touched. Another was touched with unwashed hands. Another was touched with freshly washed hands. Yet another was touched with hands that had just been doused in hand sanitizer. And just for kicks, another was rubbed all over the classroom’s Chromebooks.

The results were, as Metcalf put it, “DISGUSTING!!!”

We did a science project in class this last month as flu season was starting. We took fresh bread and touched it. We did…

Posted by Jaralee Annice Metcalf on Thursday, December 5, 2019

The experiment took about 3-4 weeks due to the preservatives in the bread. Metcalf told Parents.com:

“If the bread had been exposed to air and moisture, the experiment may have gone faster. The breads that were very clearly exposed to different germs grew mold quicker. And ones touches by clean hands plus the soap and water ones were not exposed to the germs that cause the mold growth to quicken.”

And for anyone with negative quips or questions about the experiment, Metcalf added some important points to her post:

  • **All the students touched each piece (of the touched pieces)**
  • **It was plain white bread**
  • ** Editing again to clarify: The control piece wasn’t fresh when we took this picture. It just wasn’t ever touched with naked hands and it was moved immediately from the bread bag to the zip lock baggie (every piece of bread here is from the same loaf and same day)**
  • **They’re freezer ziplock bags meant for raw meat and they’re sealed tight**
  • **We do sanitize our Chromebooks, obviously we did not do that for this experiment 🙄**
  • **We are an elementary school. Not a fancy CDC lab, so relax a little and WASH YOUR HANDS**
  • 🚨🚨 Again! This is an elementary school classroom experiment, try not to get upset! 🚨🚨
  • **I am in no way trying to make Google Chromebooks look bad, all laptops have germs, the amount is based on the person/people using them and not the brand (can’t believe I need to specify this)**
  • **It is just plain soap. Not antibacterial or anything fancy**

For those who may have forgotten, Metcalf has an important reminder for parents and teachers:

“Germs spread rapidly. And it doesn’t matter how often they’re told or how well they’re taught to wash their hands, children won’t always do it properly or enough.”

If you’re interested in trying the experiment for yourself, Metcalf suggestions following these instructions. And if you’re interested in staying healthy this season, Metcalf highly suggests you “WASH YOUR HANDS” and remember that “hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing hands!!”

Hand washing is the single best way to avoid the spread of germs but eating healthy, staying hydrated, and staying home from school or work when you’re sick is always a good idea, too.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Health

Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.

Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.

Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.

Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.

Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.

“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”

However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.

In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”

“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Environment

Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.

According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.

The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.

The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.

While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.

Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.

“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.

“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.

Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced

However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Health

Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.

And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.

Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.

Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.

Death Toll, by Percent of Population

In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.

Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.

The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.

Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.

History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning

While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.

In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.

What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?

Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics

Republished from ZH with permission.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Trending

The Mind Unleashed